Monday, April 22, 2013

Indirect Spirals

Well hello there, my name is Lynn Krawczyk and I'm one of the newest members of the group. For those of you that I'm meeting for the first time, I'm a surface design textile artist that works in abstract collages. My approach to keeping a sketchbook is a little different because my chosen format is abstract but the challenge of keeping it in this manner is what keeps me engaged with it. Let me explain.

I don't use color in my sketchbook. Ever. Well, I guess that isn't technically correct. The brown, black and blue pens are colors but I don't paint or use any other drawing tool aside from a pen.

The biggest reason being that it helps me focus my thoughts. I don't have the distraction of other techniques and when I first started to keep a sketchbook, I did full scale color "samples" of my artwork. But I felt a lot of pressure to make the real artwork match the sketch. It strangled the flow of assembling the work so I left it behind.

I tend to use my sketchbook as a catch all for my thoughts. Sketching abstract collages isn't really possible. I never really know what they'll look like so that has turned my sketchbook into a collection of thoughts and writing and random drawing.

Here is a look at what I did for this month's Spiral challenge:

Closer looks at the pages:

 I'm a writer as well, endlessly fascinated with words and how they influence everything we do. I stared at the definition of "spiral" while I drank my coffee and four words came to the forefront: widening, tightening, point and concentrated.

I moved the idea toward the idea of a piece that started out on a pinpoint and then grew progressively wider.

Back in my studio, I pulled out fabrics to make a new Remnant Collage. (My Remnant Collage series began as a way to use up the scraps in my studio but have grown into a 30+ piece series.) Keeping the idea of the the movement of unfurling of spirals in mind, I created this:

Does it look exactly like a spiral? Nope. If you hadn't seen the page from my sketchbook above, you probably wouldn't have guessed that was the influence. But that's okay. I don't have the filter in my artist mind to make literal representations of a theme, instead I fixate on a particular attribute and create from there. The influence of the theme is there.

I'm in the process of making parts for a huge collage. This will be one of them so I won't give it a number in the series yet. Instead I'll consider it a part, to be added to the whole later.

I admit that I often circle a theme like a suspicious detective but the challenge of finding the small pieces of it to grab onto are what make it exciting. Same thing with my sketchbook, I make it as simple or as elaborate as it needs to be. That's the charm of capturing your thoughts, right?


  1. Thank you for this! It is a wonderful relief to know that ANY style of sketchbook works as a part of the process of creating art. Your words are very helpful. I'd love to see the finished "large piece" you mention.

  2. Nice to meet you! Great touch you have, very nice style.

  3. I love this Lynn, and its a perfect example of what you talk about in your "Written Sketchbook" class - Nice!

  4. What book are you reading in your first pic?

    1. It's "The Creative Habit" by Twyla Tharp. :)

  5. Thank you - with feeling - for not using colour in your sketchbook. and for expressing the reasoning of what happens to your work if you do.
    Good to know there is an alternative view!
    Sandy in the UK

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  7. Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing a little of your creative process.

  8. Lynn, I LOVE that you're here! I'm also entranced by the lack of color in your sketchbook... my sketchbook intimidates me sometimes - mostly because it looks so.... ICK! Scratches and doodles and words and stains - oh my. Then I see others' sketchbooks that look so... so... FINISHED.
    But now that you mention it - mine has no color either! Not my real one. That's the one that's running over teh edges full.
    The other one - the one I think is supposed to be pretty - to show other people - is almost empty.
    I feel an epiphany coming on!

  9. Ditto what Sandy said. I also appreciate that your more developed artwork is inspired by, but not limited to, the theme. An epiphany for me was that it was OK to have two styles of sketchbook, one that was drawings and painting and color (something of it's own thing), and a "working" sketchbook that's the scribbly, wordy, no color repository for ideas to be used later. As pretty as the former is, I like the latter better. :-)

  10. Love your fibre art and the way you design straight from basic ideas and see what develops.
    Thank you for sharing


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